Saturday, June 18, 2016

Mateen's Motives: Politicizing The Orlando Shooting

   So it sure seems like everyone is rushing to spin the shooting in whichever way (a) accords with their preconceptions and (b) is most useful to them politically.
   I kind of avoid NPR and the public radio talk shows (other than Science Friday). Maybe my mind is all out of whack, but public radio seems to me to frequently be rather slanted, and I find that annoying. But anyway, I'm not religious about it, and my 2000 Accord doesn't exactly have what you'd call a cutting-edge sound I heard part of On Point the other day. The point was clear: the shooting was all about hatred of gays and other people with non-standard sexual preferences. And definitely not about Islam so don't even suggest that bub. In the parts I heard, there was no discussion of the fact that Mateen scoped out two other possible targets. I turned it off after one of the interviewees claimed that this was (near quote) a clear message of hate against Latinos (on the grounds that many who were killed were Latino). He then seemed to suggest a Trump angle/connection. But I couldn't exactly figure out what he was saying.
   Conservatives are pushing hard on the Islam angle, which is reasonable. However there is some evidence that Mateen didn't really know much about the organizations he references (ISIS, Hamas, Hezbollah). So even that isn't as clear as it might be.
   The left wants this to be about sexuality and guns...and Latinos somehow...  (Of course there are lefties out there trying to blame this on--you guessed it!--straight white men...) The right wants this to be about Islam. Everybody's jumping to spin it accordingly. In fact this seems to me like a kind of unclear case, and I'd rather reserve judgment. I'm not sure what's gained by leaping to a conclusion before we know all the relevant facts and have had some time to think about it.


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